Kerala’s Thrissur Pooram is the most colorful and extravagant cultural festival in the State. The three day festival which was dated to take place on the 3rd of May has been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It is being called off for the first time in 58 years, the last time before now being during the Indo-China war. As the whole worlds goes to a halt during this terrible time, it is no surprise that the pooram has been cancelled for the festival encourages crowds to gather. The festival brings together people of all religions and belief, it is symbolic in the way it is secular. It is an event the whole of Kerala looks forward to year after year.
History of the Thrissur Pooram
The Thrissur Pooram is an annual festival that takes place at the Vadakkunathan Temple in Thrissur; it is the most well known and largest pooram in Kerala. The festival came into being in 1798 when Raja Rama Varma organized a mass festival by unifying 10 temples around the Vadakkunathan Temple. Before the Thrissur Pooram, Arattupuzha Pooram was the largest temple festival. The city of Thrissur was a regular participant in the festival but was denied access to the procession in 1798 on arriving late. It was this denial that led Sakthan Thampuran to give rise to the Thrissur Pooram. It is worth noting that everything used in the festival is made from scratch every year.
Important elements of Thrissur Pooram
An exhibition is held two months prior to the festival which kicks off the festival season. The pooram exhibition begins at the Thekkinadu Maidan and offers everything you need from textile pieces to household items. The exhibition attracts a large number of locales and is a great opportunity for vendors to sell their products. The Thrissur Pooram vedikettu is another major attraction to the people, a sample vedikettu is organized 3 days before the Pooram. The elephants and the umbrellas atop them are also a great attraction, over 1 lakh people gather for the festivities, from locales to foreigners. Percussion can be heard from every corner of the district during the 3 day pooram.
Cancellation of Thrissur Pooram 2020
The news of the cancellation has brought great despair to everyone associated with the festival. Many people hit the peak of their businesses during the pooram season. Street vendors who travel from near and far set stalls attracting customers. This loss of income affects the vendors tremendously. Thrissur pooram also attracts large number of tourists and foreigners who fly into the district to enjoy the festivities churning out a good revenue for hotels, restaurants and even tour packages. The prices are usually hiked during the season bringing in more revenue to the district, but unfortunately this year it’s a different story.
Looking at the bright side of things, with the Thrissur Pooram 2020 cancelled Animal activists are extremely happy as the elephants will not be put on show and tortured for 3 consecutive days. There has always been a constant battle between the ideologies of animal rights activists and religious beliefs when it comes this festival. However considering the current situation when the whole world is fighting the virus religious sentiments and age old beliefs need to be put aside. Hence the news of Thrissur Pooram 2020 being cancelled comes as the right one under the gloomy circumstances of today.